I’ve enjoyed reading your column in the Portland Phoenix. You know anatomy quite well and give very readable, objective answers. My question: Why does getting my bottom spanked as an adult turn me on? I’ve had some lady friends who are into it and enjoy tanning my bottom. Some take it very seriously to where my bottom is sore the next day. Some enjoy it when I spank them. If not, doesn’t bother me. Does spanking push blood toward my sex organ? (I have a penis.)
Thanks for any thoughts.
Thanks so much for the love, and for your question!
I want to say up front that I so appreciate your theory about spanking pushing more blood toward your penis, because it shows that you’re thinking about sexual anatomy and blood flow in critical terms and applying what you learned from past columns. But if there were truly an anatomical explanation at play, we would expect to see many, many more people experiencing heightened arousal from spanking, even in situations where that person did not want to be spanked.
So what else could it be?
In a society that so often associates negative emotions like fear, guilt, and shame with sexuality, it can be tempting to seek explanations for our desires — especially when they seem unique or atypical compared to what we’re “supposed” to want or enjoy.
But the reality is that we human beings are incredibly complex animals with a wide array of traits and characteristics. Like our faces, voices, and the foods we like and dislike, the unique fantasies, actions, body parts, objects, places, smells, and sounds that get us off are just another element of that diversity. Our turn-ons and turn-offs are part of what makes us us, and learning those things about our partner(s) can be one of the most exciting parts of building a sexual relationship.
Among sex researchers, the jury is still out about what factors shape our sexual desires and fetishes. Some speculate that they could originate from early childhood experiences or from past trauma. Others believe that we learn to develop certain desires based on classical conditioning. (Think Pavlov’s dog for that last one — the idea is that you get turned on when a certain something is present, and from then on associate arousal with that thing in the future.)
But what most professionals agree on is that so long as people feel comfortable with their desires and are able to engage in them with other consenting adults in a way that doesn’t cause lasting harm or distress for themselves or their partner(s), it’s nothing to worry about.
So while I can’t give you a clear, scientific answer on this one, as a parting message I’m going to paraphrase Freud: Sometimes a spanking fetish is just a spanking fetish. You like what you like, so lean on over your (consenting) partner’s knee and have a good time. ;)
Ever try out something that looked fun in porn only to find that the reality was a little less glamorous? I want to hear your story! Send your sex questions and let’s-try-this-at-home tales to firstname.lastname@example.org for potential anonymous inclusion in a future column.